Earlier this week, it was the story about Winfield, Alabama declaring itself to be owned by God (sorry Jesus, no refunds). Now, Mississippi lawmakers want to make the Bible the official book of the state of Mississippi, and that really makes you wonder what the hell these people are thinking. I know, I know, this is Mississippi we’re talking about and conservative politicians here in Louisiana seem to run a close second or third to them and Alabama – but the Bible as the state book? Come on now.
Surely during their reading of the Constitution that they claim to be such devotees of, and certainly at some point during law school, they might have read that little part in the First Amendment that states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Apparently they didn’t, or more likely, they’re pushing this unconstitutional little bill (which will certainly be struck down by the courts) because they’re trying to pander to the religious right. Now you might ask, why is that? Certainly Mississippi is as conservative as it gets, so why would they need to pander even more? Oh that’s right, it’s an election year in Mississippi and members of both parties are trying see who can plant their lips on the backsides of the religious right more than the other.
During this state election year, some lawmakers are proposing to designate the Bible the official state book of Mississippi.
Rep. Tom Miles of Forest says he and fellow Democratic Rep. Michael Evans of Preston are filing a bill, and they already have received bipartisan promises of support from more than 20 of their colleagues.
Miles says Mississippi has a state bird, a state flower and even a state toy, so it should have a state book.
He tells The Associated Press on Monday that he’s not trying to force religion — or even reading — on anyone, but he sees the Bible as a good guide for promoting kindness and compassion. (Source)
Last time I checked, birds, flowers and toys weren’t religious in nature. These items aren’t a collection of religious stories considered by many to be a book of laws that they can use to try to force their own beliefs onto others. This shouldn’t come as any surprise though as Mississippi is the most religious state in the United States, according to a Gallup poll published in 2012. In fact, state law also says, “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.”
As I said in the previous story concerning Winfield declaring itself owned by God, we are reminded once again that we are in the 21st century’s version of a Red Scare. In order to get low IQ, superstitious and insecure people to vote for them while they rob them blind, right-wing pundits and politicians have repeated the lie that religious freedom is under attack in America – even while they try to erode and erase the religious freedoms of people who don’t worship White Jesus.
If this law passes, it will almost immediately end up in court, and get thrown out after the state spends thousands of taxpayer dollars defending it. As much as modern conservatives and the religious right like to talk about “fiscal responsibility,” they have no problem drafting up and passing laws that are clearly in violation of the Constitution. Why propose these laws even though they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving even the most conservative of federal judges? Because they’re fodder for campaigns and the lawmakers who write them can always come back and say “I’m sorry y’all. We got this law passed but those dang liberal atheist activist judges hate God and freedom.”
No wonder 9 out of the 10 poorest states are in the Bible Belt – and Mississippi is number one. As long as the Republican Party keeps people thinking that their guns and religion are under attack, they don’t have to worry about running on anything else.
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